Source: Cara Richardson, 785-532-3360, richardsonmr@k-state.edu
Hometown connection: Abilene, Clyde, Eudora, Gardner, Overland Park, Salina, Scammon, Timken, Wamego, Washington and Waverly, Kan.; West Des Moines, Iowa; Oakland, Neb.; and Plano, Texas.
News release prepared by: Jane P. Marshall, 785-532-1519, jpm2@k-state.edu

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Senior leaders: College of Human Ecology recognizes 15 new graduates for excellence

MANHATTAN -- The College of Human Ecology at Kansas State University is recognizing 15 of its newest graduates with the Outstanding Senior honor.

The students were honored at the college's Graduation Honors and Students Awards Celebration on May 11.

The students, all May 2012 bachelor's graduates, and their degree field include:

* Michelle Hirsch, family studies and human services, Abilene. Hirsch was Human Ecology Council president and attended the Leadership Honors Boot Camp in Washington, D.C. Her volunteer work includes United Way, Eisenhower Presidential Museum, Boys and Girls Club and Meadowlark Nursing Home, where she played the piano and discussed music memories with residents. Hirsch wants to be a clinical family therapist.

* Katie George, public health nutrition and dietetics, Clyde. George received the Undergraduate Cancer Research Award from the university's Johnson Cancer Research Center as well as several scholarships. She has worked in anatomy and physiology research, was an undergraduate teaching assistant and was on the cadaver dissection team. She also has been a volunteer at Meadowlark Hills and Mercy Regional Hospital, both in Manhattan.

* Logan Hartpence, communication sciences and disorders, Eudora. Hartpence, who earned several scholarships while at K-State, was named an outstanding tutor in 2009. He is vice president of the K-State Student Speech Language Hearing Association. He plans to pursue a doctorate in audiology at the University of Kansas.

* Joanna Howard, apparel marketing, Gardner. A member of Kappa Omicron Nu honorary and the Apparel Marketing and Design Alliance, she was co-chair of the spring 2012 Apparel and Textiles Symposium. Howard plans to move to New York City to start a career in the fashion industry. She was an intern with Fashion Connection in New York in summer 2011.

* Stephany Moore, dietetics coordinated program, Overland Park. Moore, who earned a bachelor's degree in kinesiology and human nutrition from K-State in 2011, did her dietetics internship at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, which included a clinical rotation at Children's Mercy Hospital. For her community practicum, she created low cost toys for a Platte County, Mo., workshop for day care providers.

* Mollie Wallace, general human ecology, Overland Park. Wallace also studied nonprofit leadership and communications at K-State to prepare her for a career with nonprofit children's organizations. She has volunteered with Flint Hills Breadbasket in Manhattan, Up 'Til Dawn, and Champions are Readers, which addresses the importance of literacy for youth.

* April Bonilla, family studies and human services, Salina. Bonilla is a student at K-State Salina, where she has earned academic honors. She also is a volunteer with the League of United Latin American Citizens. She is certified as a nursing assistant and a dental assistant and worked as patient coordinator at Salina Pediatric Care. Bonilla wants to work with families in Salina, building a foundation to help them attain their goals and hopes.

* Janet Peak Holden, family and consumer sciences education, Scammon. Holden chaired the university's Family and Consumer Sciences interest group for several years and was an intern in summer 2011 for the Tornado Relief Trauma Unit, counseling children. She will be a teacher at Council Grove High School.

* Shawna Peters, family studies and human services, Timken. Peters, who also minored in American ethnic studies and nonprofit leadership studies, received the Anderson Senior Award from the K-State Alumni Association and the 2012 Pat Bosco Outstanding Graduating Senior Award. She studied abroad in rural Mexico, where she worked with families affected by migration. She has interned with Zawadi Fund International and Gallery for Peace and Justice. During alternative spring break trips, she rebuilt communities damaged by tornadoes and hurricanes. She hopes to attend the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas.

* Becca Law Ayon, interior design, Wamego. Ayon has been an interior design intern at Hirsch Bedner Associates in San Francisco and a space planning intern for Perkins and Will, a national architectural firm, where she worked with GTM Sportswear in Manhattan. She served as president of the K-State chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers and received several scholarships. Ayon is joining Perkins and Will.

* Tiffany Brax, dietetics didactic program and public health nutrition, Washington. Brax interned at St. Mary's Food Bank. She is a Foundations Scholar and member of two honor societies. Her community service work includes a mission trip to Botswana, Africa, and working at the Flint Hills Breadbasket in Manhattan and a Kansas City homeless shelter.

* Kale Hamm, hotel and restaurant management, Waverly. Hamm was a Human Ecology ambassador and an open house chair. He worked with the annual Travel and Dining Auction and with the student Hospitality Management Society. A transfer from Cowley County Community College, he has interned at Palmer Gulch Resorts in South Dakota and at Piping Rock Country Club in New York, where he will start his career.

* Alison Meyer, nutritional sciences, West Des Moines, Iowa. Meyer has been a college ambassador and undergraduate teaching assistant. She was a recipient of numerous scholarships at K-State. A Spanish minor, she studied abroad at the University of Salamanca in Spain. Meyer will attend dental school at Craighton University.

* Brooke Cull, nutrition and kinesiology, Oakland, Neb. Cull has received numerous scholarships and awards as a K-State student. She was a member of the cadaver dissection team and was published in Prairie Lights magazine. She works as a certified nursing assistant at Meadowlark Hills Retirement Community and as an undergraduate teaching assistant. Cull plans to be a physician assistant.

* Kaitlin Christensen, athletic training, Plano, Texas. Christensen has served as president of the campus Student Athletic Trainers Association, the association's Kansas leadership council and its council for District 5, which includes seven states. She also organized the state's first student athletic training conference last year. Christensen has received several scholarships and worked with K-State's football, women's basketball and women's tennis teams, as well as with injured soldiers at Fort Riley. She plans to attend graduate school.